Posts for the Topic automation

Robo grocery delivery?

I was intrigued to read a piece by Joe Dysart in the Communications of the ACM concerning food delivery by self-driving vehicles.  According to the article, there are a number of start-ups working on delivering food parcels to people's doors or curbs using driverless delivery vans.

Fair algorithms

An interesting piece by Matt Reynolds in New Scientist describes work that aims to make algorithms fair.  A team of computer scientists at the Alan Turing Institute in London defines a fair algorithm as follows:

[a fair algorithm is] one that makes the same decision about an individual regardless of demographic background.

A tale of two robots

Today brings another pair of interesting news items to compare.  The first concerns an automated vehicle that delivers hot food.  The second concerns an automated vehicle that delivers hot lead.  (Some lines just write themselves!)

Bringing back US manufacturing work?

One of the promises driving support for Donald Trump in the recent U.S. election was his promise to bring back manufacturing work.  Many Americans have seen their industrial jobs disappear without much prospect of return.  They and Trump blame globalization for moving these jobs overseas.  Thus, changes in trade policy are touted to bring them back.

Why blame humans?

A Slate post by Madeleine Clare Elish explores the role that human drivers or pilots play in semi-automated vehicles.  Semi-automated vehicles have features that take over some, but not all, driving tasks.  

A simple example would be cruise control, now standardly available in cars, or the autopilot function of modern airliners.

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